JERUSALEM -- Israel's new education minister has likened intermarriage among North American Jews to the Holocaust in a recent Cabinet meeting.
A spokesman for Education Minister Rafi Peretz confirmed Tuesday that Peretz said that "assimilation is like the Holocaust" in a July 1 session.
Peretz is leader of a religious nationalist political party and former chief rabbi of the Israeli military.
Much of the American Jewish community abides by more liberal streams of Judaism, whereas Orthodoxy prevails among Israeli Jews.
Relations between North American Jews and the Israeli government have been strained in recent years after plans for a mixed-gender prayer area at the Western Wall were scrapped in 2017, and over differing opinions about President Donald Trump.